Classic meal ideas for quinoa

What to do once you yave your quinoa ready and how to make it into delicious meals.

So you cooked up a batch of quinoa and now have a mountain of it sitting in the fridge. Of course you do because no one ever realizes how much a small amount of dry quinoa actually makes. It's easy to go overboard when you make this delicious, protein packed seed. And, making extra quinoa is also a great way to plan ahead for future meals.

Classic meal ideas for your mountain of quinoa

Once you have your quinoa ready, what do you do with it? With just a few simple and basic ideas, you can transform your stockpile of quinoa into wonderful meals for your family.

A variety of salads

Quinoa is easy to incorporate into salads. Because of its chewy yet crunchy texture, it gives salads an interesting new contrast. Of course you could warm the quinoa up and use it to give your salad that warm-and-cold combination we love. Or you can leave the quinoa cold for a quick and easy dinner. Just toss the cold quinoa in a big bowl of fresh salad greens, cucumbers, and any other vegetables you like, then sprinkle with a tasty vinaigrette and you have a fresh and colorful food group spectrum in one bowl.

You can also choose to make a salad sans greens by combining cooled quinoa, garbanzo beans, avocado, red onion, and the juice of one lime and a light drizzle of very good olive oil. This hearty salad makes a full meal in itself. Chances are you have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already, making it a great throw-together meal for those days where you are on the run.

Kick up breakfast basics

A classic breakfast can be turned into a high-powered protein pick-me-up. Using quinoa added to your oatmeal, or even in place of it, can give your body and metabolism the start it needs to keep you going all day. Place your leftover quinoa in a bowl with a little milk and honey and warm it up for a few minutes to make it nice and creamy. Add in a little fruit and a sprinkle of cinnamon and you have a delicious and nutritious breakfast in less time than it usually takes to make instant oatmeal.

If you are a fan of breakfast muffins, quinoa is the perfect excuse to bake up a batch when you're really hungry. Quinoa adds a nice texture and a delightful little 'pop' in your everyday breakfast muffin. Try any of your favorite muffin recipes, add quinoa, and see what you can create.

Anytime patties

Whether you're making breakfast patties or lunchtime burgers, the bowl of cooked quinoa you have in the refrigerator is a great addition. For breakfast, a simple quinoa, chopped corn, and egg mixture can make a delicious patty to serve alongside your eggs. For lunch, combine cooked quinoa in a bowl with eggs, garlic, onions, Parmesan cheese, and some bread crumbs. Pack into patties and cook for a nutrition-dense lunch.

Re-think risotto

This is a creamy rice dish, but does it have to be rice? Because quinoa has the potential to turn into a a delicious, creamy food, risotto is a classic use for your stash of cooked quinoa. Simply simmer the cooked quinoa slowly in broth, adding broth a ladle at a time stirring regularly, until broth is complete absorbed. Once you have your creamy texture, add in some chives, Parmesan cheese, and butter and you have a delicious quinoa risotto that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest eater.

if you find quinoa a bit chewy but would like to enjoy its benefits use 2 parts rice and 1 part quinoa

Surprise Sweet Treat

Quinoa as a dessert? Who would have thought! But believe it or not, quinoa makes a great substitute in a rice pudding dessert. Take your favorite rice pudding recipe and substitute in your cooked quinoa. Talk about a sweet way to use your supply of quinoa, and serve a nutritious dessert!

Having a big bowl of cooked quinoa in the refrigerator is a great tool to have in your kitchen at all times. When the question is “What's to eat?” the answer is right there at your fingertips. With just a few ideas, you can turn that mountain of cooked quinoa into a culinary creation to please the entire family.

Yummy experiments

No matter if you like quinoa hot or cold, you have options. Plenty of options. One of the best ways to explore new uses of quinoa is to play around with it by adding some to your current favorite meals. Not only will your dishes get a new kick, you may actually stumble onto the next “Chicken and Waffles” combination and become famous! But, really, quinoa is just plain yummy. Grab a box and start experimenting with quinoa today.

Desserts and treats

When you think of quinoa, you may think of a main course or side dish. But, you most likely don't consider how you can prepare quinoa in your dessert recipes. But, quinoa lends itself well to many desserts. With its fluffy texture, nutty taste, and delightful “pop,” quinoa can take desserts to a new level by adding another complex layer to the taste and texture of your favorite treats. We can take a different look at dessert with quinoa.